ANZ does a lot of work with the capital markets, linking company’s sustainable ambitions with investors who want to fund these initiatives. Last week, it was announced ANZ is the joint leader of Housing New Zealand’s $NZ500 million Sustainability Bond to help fund investment in sustainable social housing.
At an individual home owner level, green mortgages - where special interest rates are offered to building projects that meet high health and sustainability standards - are starting to gain momentum.
Last year, 37 European banks joined an EU-backed pilot program to create a set of standards around what they call “energy efficient mortgages”.
In New Zealand, green mortgages are very much a niche product. As New Zealand’s largest home lender, ANZ understands we can position green mortgages for more active consideration by home builders and renovators.
We’re in contact with our customers at pivotal times in the life of a house - when it’s built, purchased or refinanced - and so we are in a good position to influence financial decisions relating to the quality of that house.
Every dollar counts
Last year, ANZ offered interest-free home loan top-ups for customers so they can insulate their homes. Now ANZ has launched a Healthy Home Loan Package that includes discounts off standard home loan rates, as well as fee waivers across a range of accounts, for customers buying, building or renovating a home to 6 Homestar or above.
In addition to the health benefits, people with more energy efficient homes have more disposable income because they’re paying less in power bills. For example, in a US study of 71,000 homes, people living in energy efficient homes were 32 per cent less likely to have to default on the mortgage repayments.
When every dollar counts, a lower home loan rate might swing the decision to go the extra mile on health and sustainability.
As Andrew Eagles, Chief Executive of NZGBC, says: “when you get the power of finance and knowledge coming together, then we can drive real change, live healthier lives and help New Zealanders have a lower carbon future.”
Antonia Watson is Managing Director for Retail and Business Banking at ANZ NZ